< /p> Floating shipyard of the Tatran Physical Education Unit, May 21, 2023, Prague.
Prague – Tens of thousands of visitors came to the Open House Prague festival again this year to view normally inaccessible buildings and spaces in the capital over the weekend. Among the most visited objects of the ninth year of the festival were, for example, the New Stage of the National Theater and the functionalist building of Terminal 4 of Prague Airport. Over 83,000 interested people arrived at the festival. The number of people thus exceeded the number of visitors from the years before the coronavirus pandemic. One of the organizers, Michaela Pánková, told ČTK.
The motto of the festival is Architecture for all, tours are intended for the general public, including people with visual or hearing disabilities. The organizers of this year's edition, whose accompanying program started on Monday, commemorated the architects Karel Prager, Věra Machoninová or Antonín Viktor Barvitia.
The festival opened 107 buildings to the public. “Larger queues formed during the weekend only at approximately 15 objects, mostly for festival novelties,” said Pánková. For Prager's centenary, people could see, for example, the technical and stage facilities of the New Stage. On Sunday, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the architect Barvitio, two magnificent villas were opened – Villa Lanna in Bubench and Gröbe's villa in Havlíčkové sady. Visitors could see the restored representative interiors in the Neo-Renaissance style.
“Queues also formed early in the morning at the Terminal 4 building, the oldest part of Václav Havel Airport. In the functionalist building, it was possible to look into the government and presidential lounge,” said Pánková. People were also interested in the premises of historic palaces, and this year was no different. Thousands of people flocked to the Nostické, Černínské and Petschka palaces or the building of the Ministry of Transport, which was opened for the first time during the festival this year. There was great interest in the historic shipyard of the Czech Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht clubs in Central Europe, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year.
According to Pánková, Saturday's attendance, which is always higher than Sunday's, exceeded last year's by a quarter . Last year, 64,000 people visited the festival. This year's edition offered 27 novelties and 140 accompanying program events. From Prager, visitors could also see the former Komerční banka branch in Smíchov and the university campus from the 1990s in Jinonice. Machoninová's work was represented, for example, by the DBK shopping center (formerly the House of Residential Culture), which is considered one of the masterpieces of post-war architecture in the Czech Republic.
Open House Prague is part of the international network of Open House Worldwide festivals that take place in more than 50 cities.